Having to make a complicated choice between two different options is a part and parcel of life. The choices, which people make, define their future spiritual growth and create premises for their evolution. While it would be erroneous to state that the wrong decisions that people make mean that they are bad people, the line between taking the wrong step and living the life of sin is very thin. Herein the significance of spiritual counseling lies; when facing a dilemma that seems very difficult due to the complexity of the situation that one is trapped in, a Christian leader may show the path that will lead to the further salvation.
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The issue of euthanasia has been quite topical over the past few years, which the case in point is a graphic example of. The case presupposes addressing the problem of a young woman, who lost her ability to move to a tragic accident, and has been paraplegic ever since. Due to a rapid and significant drop in her life quality, she has been thinking of euthanasia as a possible solution to the problems that she is having now, starting from physical ones to the assumption that she is a burden to the family. The dilemma is, therefore, that she could end her life so that she could not feel miserable anymore, yet the aforementioned step is viewed as inadmissible from the Christian perspective. The resolution of the dilemma includes carrying out one of the following steps:
- Joni could go to the state, in which euthanasia is considered legal, and put herself out of her misery;
- Joni could identify new goals in her life to strive for and get her priorities straight, recognizing the importance of her family and, therefore, focusing on them and the enhancement of her spiritual growth.
Although the Bible is rather clear on the issue of assisted suicide, one must admit that, in some cases, the scripture tends to be somewhat forgiving to the thoughts of assisted suicide in the instances that can be viewed as justifiable. For instance, in the moments of intense suffering, the Christian saints may have had the corresponding thoughts. Particularly, the instance of Job being tortured deserves to be mentioned as a graphic example of the phenomenon in question: “So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity” (Job 7:15-16). Therefore, being weak in considering the idea of ending one’s life is not interpreted as something to be ashamed of or punished for. The approach under analysis is quite sensible, as it gives room for further remorse and reconsideration of one’s values.
As far as the actual actions are concerned, though, the Biblical postulates point clearly to the fact that assisted suicide cannot possibly be tolerated or allowed by the Christian religion (Lamca, n. d.). Therefore, the process of an intervention aimed at addressing the patient’s problem will have to be geared towards giving her life a new meaning instead of wallowing in misery and feeling reluctant to communication or any other experience that life has to offer. Hence, the following core belief should be taken into account when designing the approach for helping Joni advance in her assessment of the situation and the analysis of her options.
In order to resolve the problem in a Christian way, one should consider explaining Jodi that her life is a gift from God and that she does not have the right to reject it; otherwise, she would reject God. Instead, she should focus on appreciating what she has and making the best of the bad situation that she has been trapped in. Particularly, it could be suggested that she should work on her spirituality, thus, reconciling with the Christian faith and regaining her connection to God.
The direct and open conversation, which I will have with Jodi, may help her reconsider her choice and, therefore, reconsider her opinion about her current situation. One must admit that the process of persuasion is not going to be easy, as she has clearly been through a lot of suffering and may be reluctant to accept God in her heart. Thus, it will be desirable that an intervention should be carried out. To be more exact, it will be necessary to make sure that Jodi should have the support of her family members. Jodi should understand the significance of the family’s support and, therefore, get the message across to her in a more efficient manner (Prowse, 2015).
As it has been stressed above, the other option is often viewed as an opportunity for a range of disabled people, who find it far too difficult to adjust to the changing environment. An assisted suicide may be viewed as an easy way to end the suffering, yet it still does not provide the solution to an even greater issue. Specifically, the concept of salvation needs to be brought up. The proponents of euthanasia assume that it is the right of a person to choose whether they want to live or not. In other words, the very foundation of the moral, which the supporters of euthanasia use to prove their point, revolves around the egocentric perception of reality and the focus on one’s life as the phenomenon that is not related to God in any way (Diffey, n. d.).
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The above-mentioned assumption may be viewed as legitimate by the people, who feel that they have suffered enough to have the right to make a mistake regarding their choice of priorities and behave in an egocentric, non-Christian manner. However, while admittedly being an extenuating circumstance in the given situation, the selfish choice that defies God and the very essence of the Christian religion still remains a wrong step to make in terms of one’s spiritual evolution and the chances for salvation (Mousavi, Akbari, Kashani, Akbari, & Sepas, 2011).
Although assisted suicide is often interpreted by people suffering from complicated conditions, in general, and paraplegia, in particular, the specified option must not be viewed as a sound choice to make, as it blocks one’s way to the Christian salvation and defies the very basis of the Christian faith. Primarily, the fact that people choosing euthanasia put themselves above God in judging g whether they should live or not needs to be mentioned as the prime argument. Although the emotions, which paraplegic patients such as Jodi experience are quite understandable and forgivable, making the self-destructive choice such as assisted suicide must not be viewed as acceptable. Therefore, an elaborate intervention strategy based on Jodi’s need for support of her family members and her faith in God needs to be designed.
Diffey, D. (n. d. a). Chapter 4: Departure from wisdom. Web.
Lamca, C. (n. d.). Chapter 8: Intellectual obstacles to wisdom. Web.
Mousavi, S. F., Akbari, A., Kashani, L. F., Akbari, M. E., & Sepas, N. H. (2011). Euthanasia in cancer patients, Islamic point of view. Iranian Journal of Cancer Prevention, 4(2), 78–81.
Prowse, C. (2015). Embrace, with joy, marriage and family life. The Australasian Catholic Record, 92(3), 330–338.